Newport News YMCA branch renamed to honor local family

Posted on: February 20, 2017

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By Reema AminContact Reporter

The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA announced Thursday night that it would rename its Warwick Boulevard location in Newport News after Tom and Ann Hunnicutt, whose family has worked with the organization for the past 70 years.

The sign has already been changed to read Tom and Ann Hunnicutt Family YMCA, said Melanie Erickson, spokeswoman for the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

The announcement was a surprise and was made after Tom Hunnicutt III accepted the Social Responsibility award during the YMCA’s annual banquet dinner at the Marriott at City Center.

“There wasn’t a plan to rename it; it’s really to honor the Hunnicutt family,” Erickson said. “We wanted (Tom) to be aware of what his legacy is.”

Hunnicutt, who is the CEO of Pembroke Stone Mart in Hampton, accepted the award after a video that highlighted his work with the YMCA since 1965. He was elected in 1965 to the board of directors of then-Newport News YMCA, which later became the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA. He served as president in 1970, following his father, Dr. T. N. Hunnicutt Jr., who had the same position in 1946.

“Over 70 years between he and his father, serving our YMCA,” said Danny Carroll, the CEO of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

In 1977, the Hunnicutt family donated the track at the Newport News location on Warwick Boulevard as part of a $407,000 renovation of the facility, which brought the Adult Fitness Center and three more racquetball courts.

After the Hampton branch was opened, Hunnicutt became the first chairman of its board. In 1983, he was elected as the first president of the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA board, Erickson said.
In 1995, after his one-year tenure as the Peninsula president, Hunnicutt was named as the chairman of a $2.4 million fundraising campaign to build an indoor pool at the Hampton branch.

Both Tom and Ann Hunnicutt said Tuesday that they were “completely surprised” by the announcement. “To be a part of the YMCA organization for years and watching it grow under Danny’s leadership — that is all I need, and this was the topping on the cake,” Tom Hunnicutt said after the banquet.

Hunnicutt has been honored by several other organizations. He received the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award in 1998, the Distinguished Citizen Award from the city of Hampton in 1994, Peninsula Sales & Marketing Outstanding Business Leader in 1993 and the “Four Star Award” from the Military Affairs Council of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce in 1992.

Amin can be reached by phone at 757-247-4890.
Copyright © 2017, Daily Press

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